Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Grocery Store

As you can guess, a trip to the grocery store becomes an adventure with three young children. I have sat, strapped, draped, velcroed and buckled my children into those carts in many strategic and creative ways. Recently they have reached the age where they can walk along beside me if it is a quick trip in and out. Unfortunately, C thinks it is hilarious to dash off across the store from time to time, which forces me to make the decision: run after her, effectively abandoning the twins, or yell maniacally across the bread aisle that she'd better get back here right now. Neither is really a good option, so it is better to just have her ride, therefore eliminating her chance of escape.

HOWEVER, we recently visited a different grocery store. Not only did they have the nifty carts with steering wheels and the double buggys, but they had tiny miniature little carts. The perfect size for a preschooler. With adorable plastic signs that read "shopper in training". So cute. If you have one little kid. If you have three, it is a parade short only one horseman of the apocalypse. I watched my three little shoppers push their individual little carts through the sliding doors and said a quiet prayer. Simultaneously, I felt the claws come out, ready to lash at whatever stranger would undoubtedly make a snide comment.

The key, I told myself, is take it slow. The chances of taking out a fellow shopper or a large display reduce significantly if our little caravan proceeds slowly and carefully up and down the aisles and around corners.

I collected a few items here and there, alternating putting non-breakable and non-crushable items in the three mini-carts. I was thinking how smoothly everything was going as we made our last stop...the prepared food. I was looking over various entrees and salads to bring home for dinner when hell broke loose. I heard B yell "vroom vroom" and I knew it was on. Within a second they were racing their mini carts around the display of fresh breads. The giggling erupted into fits of laughter as they circled the olive bar, and absolute hysteria ensued as they crashed into the large island full of various barebequed items.
There is no calm way to fix this situation. There are three mini carts flipped on their sides, with various spilled items rolling along on the floor. Many of which I do not ever remember putting into a mini cart, so obviously my kids were adding to their spoils on the sly. I know I had no need for flaxseed oil or Rave hairspray.

The next few minutes were kind of a blur. I know there were various department managers involved, and I know everyone was doing their best to be extremely helpful and expedite the rest of our trip. I am pretty sure they opened a register just for us. And we had about 4 people offering to help us out to our truck. We made it out without injuring anyone or causing major destruction. So I guess it was a successful trip, even if I didn't get everything on my list and ended up with a few groceries I didn't need. And the kids had a blast.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  But that doesn't mean everything will go right!
My kids have a funny way of interpreting the lyrics to Christmas carols. A has been singing that all he wants for Christmas is his toothbrush teeth. And he thinks the words really are " Shrek the Halls with Shrek and Donkey". And B substitutes the word "train" for any word he is unsure of. There are entire Christmas Carols that consist of the word train repeated over and over to a familiar tune. And then there are the songs which they sing correctly. So adorable. C always sways back and forth or dances. These are priceless and precious moments...

So let me tell you about THE CHRISTMAS PAGEANT. On Christmas Eve our church has a family service which includes a Christmas play with the little ones. I love the idea of said play, and was hoping to see my little ones participate this year. (We missed out last year when A had an asthma attack and instead I spent Christmas Eve in the ER with him.) So this year, I would have two shepards and an angel in the production. Yay!

As we drove to church, I must admit I was a little nervous. Our last rehearsal had not gone well, with C crying and B sneaking to the front repeatedly to try to turn off the CD playing the music while the other kids were singing.  But, we were making every effort. I'd love to tell you that my worries were unfounded and that my babies were little cherubs who performed beautifully.

The best thing I can say is that they looked really cute in their costumes. After we congregated, I was approached by an older Angel who told me it was her job to stand next to the Advent Wreath during the production and make sure none of the little kids knocked it over. "Especially your boys", she said.  Well that's good. At least my kids probably wouldn't burn down the church on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile the three little ones were running around and giggling with their friends. All was fine til group picture time. Shepards were first. C wanted her picture taken with her brothers and the other shepards. We explained that the Angels would be next, but being 2, she REALLY wanted her picture taken WITH HER BROTHERS.  The waterworks started, and escalated, and pretty soon all she wanted was her daddy and her grandaddy, seated in the Chapel waiting for the service to begin. Being that she is 2, and the youngest in the play, I kissed her bye, and Grandmommy took her over to the church to wait and watch. One down.

I turned to the boys.
My kids feed off each other, so the boys were a little upset at this point too. OK, my sister and I can manage this, I thought to myself. We can calm them down and get them engaged with the group and sneak over to the church.

Well, during the confusion with C, another Angel sat in A's seat. This was, of course, a personal affront to A. He started crying and said he wanted to go home.  Then B wanted to go home too.

Then there were tears.

I tried to encourage them.

Their teachers from the morning program they attend once a week tried to encourage them.

Other parents tried. 

Our Priest tried to encourage them. He told them they looked great and they would be excellent shepards.  B looked at him and said "I don't WANT to be a shepard, I just want to be a KID".

I told them Santa was watching. I told them how sad people would be if they didn't participate. But the bottom line was, they really didn't want to do it, and I don't want their memories of church at Christmastime to be tainted by bad feelings.

What was I supposed to do? Say you WILL be in this production and have them march in crying and wailing and miserable?

So we all sat in a pew. My mom, dad, sister, bro-in-law, husband, twin shepards, an angel, and I.  And we watched the other kids do an adorable job.  And it was lovely because I was surrounded by my family at church on Christmas Eve and everyone was now happy.

Haha, and I did not have to worry about my little ones burning the church down.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cards

I love getting Christmas cards. I feel slight disappointment any day after about Dec 12 if I go to my mailbox and find no Holiday greetings. I love the pictures of everyone's kids and puppies. (Not really a cat person). I love cards that make me laugh. I cover my refrigerator with them. I like getting cards so much that if none come on a given day, my husband tries to soften the blow by saying " AT&T sent something, along with the utility company and, oh and look the mortgage company!"   yay

In the past, I have been even more enthusiastic about having my Christmas cards made so I can send them out to friends and family. I love to show off my kids. In past years I almost bubbled with anticipation as I was dressing my litter to take them to the studio and have their innocence and adorableness captured. Plus, if someone at a studio is doing it, then I do not have to. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get three very young kids to look at the camera at the same time, much less smile?
 After the first few years the enthusiasm fades. I have left every "photo shoot" sweating and exhausted.  This year I even briefly considered forgoing the Christmas Card, but something inside me said I would regret it later. And hey we have no playdates or doctor appointments scheduled today, so let's do it.
Getting them dressed was reasonably easy. Much easier than when they were all three really tiny and helpless and  someone pooped every single time I got them dressed and we were about to walk out the door.

Then we got to the studio...we arrived just before our appointment and the kids moved straight to the Lego table. I cringed. All I could think is that table is covered in who knows what. It is probably a veritable petri dish growing new and unheard of bacteria and strains of virus. But what the hell, at least they aren't whining and asking when our turn is. The place was packed, with kids in their finery running everywhere. The Lego table was getting busy. My kids aren't necessarily the best at sharing. You'd think they would be because they have had no choice but to share toys, pacifiers, mommy and daddy, etc their entire lives. Maybe that is why they don't like to share with others. Maybe they are thinking "I have to put up with enough bullshit from my siblings at home, I am NOT taking flack from the kid in the mini tux with the Tartan plaid bowtie".
Anyway, I whipped out the I-phone and let them take turns playing Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja until it was our turn.

As our photographer for the day led us into an actual studio, the manager followed us in. " You need me", she tells our photographer. "These guys are never easy".

Hmmmmm, maybe I heard that wrong.  It may be true, but did she really just say that right in front of me?

And we got started...I was sweating within minutes. B kept spinning around on the swiveling stool used for profile shots. A was unwrapping the prop gifts under the prop tree. C was wandering around aimlessly.

We get them all seated for a few moments, and the photog and the manager decide my kids will look towards the camera and smile if the manager stands over the camera and throws various toys in the air to hold their attention.

"I wouldn't do that". I honestly tried to warn them. As soon as the teddy bear left her arms all three of my kids went charging towards it (and the Photog and the mgr) in a desperate attempt to catch it. It was like a really bad bouqet toss at a wedding. Photog ( who is squatting down to get a good angle) falls down and I hear him cussing under his breath.

Manager tried to rally the kids back under control and move them back toward the tree.  B won't go. He sits on the ground kicking his feet and laughing. Photog tries to lift B by the armpits, at the same time that B jumps to his feet and head bumps Photog right in the chin. And B is very hard headed. When they are finally by the tree again, A and B keep yelling the name of any food they can think of rather than cheese. They find this hilarious, as does C.

All finished up and time to review the pics. While waiting for the computer to upload our memories, I hear photog tell a co-worker that it will be a miracle if he got a good shot of these kids.  Hello...I can hear you!

As he strolls over a minute later I decided to call him out on it.

"So, my kids are a little wilder than the others you've had lately?"

I'll be honest, I expected a two faced, awkward reply along the lines of how they were no problem, really.

But I will give photog props because he gave it to me straight. He said "You're kids are like 4 times wilder than any other kids I have dealt with."

OK then. At least he was honest. And probably right. And I still (miraculously) got some cute Chrsitmas cards made this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home for the Holidays

I have seen many lovely pictures and postings of people's homes gloriously decked out for Christmas. I have read other blogs describing how to create beautiful hand-made crafts to celebrate the Holiday (Reference . A few postings from friends have made me a little envious, like these beautiful wreaths made entirely of ornaments a friend made.
Some homes are almost museum quality this time of year, and I am all for it. In other people's homes. Not mine.
Let me tell you about my home at Christmas.  We'll start with the basics.

Even though it's the Holidays, there are still crayon murals on some of my walls. Magic Eraser can only do so much. And at times I have no idea who to credit with the fabulous artwork because they all blame each other. Quite ingenious really...

And even though I vacuum EVERY DAY, there are still crumbs on my floor, in my couch and inside the drawers of the train table. I guess the trains have to eat too.  There are juice stains on my carpet, proof that a spill proof, drip free sippy cup is as mythical as The Big Man in Red.

And now the Christmas decorations...first, the Tree. The tree itself is lovely. Little twigs and berries accenting the green (artificial) boughs.  But is it meticulously decorated and color coordinated? Oh hell no. Pretty much only the top half is decorated at all, because I gave up on keeping 6 little hands off the Christmas Tree.  And their daddy told them it was ok to touch the soft ornaments, just not the breakable ones.  WTH? You want two four year olds and a two year old to distinguish between breakable and "ok to touch" ornaments. Everything is breakable in those hands. I looked over from the kitchen the other day and actually saw the entire tree SPINNING.

Most of the ornaments decking my tree are, in fact, hand made. But not with fabulous, impressive material. More like tissue paper, glitter, glue and styrofoam. I love them. My kids are artistic genuises.

Other decorations include various wall hangings, which are dangerously swung back and forth on a regular basis, and stuffed characters which sing and dance. Because there is not enough noise and confusion in my house anyway.

And don't forget the Rudolph Train set, complete with the Abominable Snowman. Baring it's claws and teeth. Hi kids! And the train itself chugs around, whistling loudly and smoking. Yes, smoking.

So, a peaceful, tranquil Holiday sanctuary it is not.  But it is busy and fun and full of enthusiasm. And there are usually some home-made cookies, decorated beautifully by my little elves.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


All kids whine. Some a little and some a lot. B is a whiner.
I will from here on be referring to the twins as A and B. It could be worse. I could refer to them as Thing 1 and Thing 2, or Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum but I love them and want only positive associations.  They were A and B from the very utero, before we even knew they were adorable baby boys. The docs gave them these monikers, I will just continue to use them for the sake of blogging.  I will refer to my daughter as C simply because it follows A and B.

Anyway, A and B were preemies, as twins often are.  B had all kinds of complications early in the pregnancy and is considered a miracle by every OB, neonatologist and pediatrician he has ever been in contact with. Not to mention his dad and me.  He is awesome. He is amazing.

B is adorable, funny and so so smart. He is mama's boy and very sweet.

B is also a whiner. Big Time. 

Here is an example of a car trip to Target:

"Mommy I'm thirsty."

"Well you have your juice cup baby."

"Mommy I'm hungry."

"Don't you have peanut butter crackers on your lap?"

"I'm cold."

(Aw Geez)

"it's 94 degrees outside, you're not cold"

"ok, I'm hot".

(big sigh)

"I'll turn the air on higher."

"The sun is in my eyes".

(effin sun)

"OK, just close them and relax".

"But then I can't see the movie."

( POS movie)

"Dude, I don't know what to do for you...."

"You need to turn around so the sun's not in my eyes"

(oh that effin sun)

There is nothing to say to this... I continue driving

A moment of silence!  And then it passes...

"Mommy, C is touching me!"
"Mommy, C is looking at me!"

(How the hell do you know she is looking at you, I thought the freakin sun was in your eyes)

" No one look at each other, no one touch each other, no one talk to each other, just watch your movie"

"But the sun is in my eyes".

Yep, so that is how it goes. But the truth is,I'd be whiny too if I'd been through all he has. I am just so happy to have him in my life and so proud of what a strong boy he has become that I'll take it any day.  I just may need some vino some evenings.


While the little ones were eating a snack and watching a Christmas movie this morning, I decided to get a jump start on cleaning out and organizing my closet. One of my sweet boys wandered in and asked what I was doing. After I told him, he asked "can I help?"  OK..initial reaction running through my head was "oh no, there is no way you can help, you will totally just be in the way and this sucks enough as it is". But what I said was, "Sure baby, I love it when you are helpful."

I was so pleasantly surprised. He matched all the shoes into pairs, and picked up all the spare change that had fallen out of various diaper bags, purses and pockets and was scattered all over the floor. And he kept me company while doing a chore that I hate.  My closet looks like the aftermath of Armageddon and my ADHD makes it tough to keep it organized for more than 6 hours.

So here I was, thrilled that my sweet boy was so much fun and so willing to help. I decided to go check on the other two. I thought they were still watching a movie.  Wrong.

They were in the guest bathroom emptying bottles of shampoo and shower gel into the tub, the sink, and the toilet.

You win some, you lose some I guess.

Monday, December 19, 2011

nap time

I am always exhausted. Always.I havent really slept in five years. And I have a little monkey who insists on waking up by 6:15 every morning. Even if we keep him up late.  Even when time changes.  Even when I sneak in at 5 am and slip him Benadryl. (kidding)

there are two things that motivate me to get my exhausted butt out of the bed: coffee, and the idea of taking a nap when the little ones do. I picture myself crawling back into bed in about six and a half hours, the house is quiet, the covers are cozy. This vision helps me put my feet on the floor in the morning and stumble into the kitchen and turn on my Keurig and begin the never ending ritual of filling sippy cups.

However, these envisioned naps rarely occur. There are always 12 things that need to be done..Laundry, dishes, etc.  If I don't do these things during naptime, then I must engage in what I call the 5 oclock shuffle.  This entails running all over the house in an attempt to make it seem relatively clean and orderly, as well as try to start dinner, before hubby gets home from work.

On those rare occasions that I feel I am "caught up" enough to sit down for a few minutes while the kids nap, there is obviously some trash-tv on my DVR that I simply must get caught up on. I am sure I will get into my trash tv likes on a later entry, but if I fall too far behind in the lives of the Pretty Little Liars or kids in the 90210 I wont have much to talk to my sister about other than my kids.  And I could wax poetic about my kids forever. They are, obviously, the most amazing kids in the world.

So anyway, I never get to nap. Ever...even though I tempt myself out of bed with the thought every morning.  You'd think by now I would know that I am a liar.

1 reason my hubby needs his a## kicked

My 2 year old ran past this morning, leaving a trail of stench behind her...

I asked "baby, do we need to change your diaper?" Did you poo-poo?"

Her reply, "yeah, but it's just a little ball, not a big log."

Seriously! Seriously?  What two year old talks like that?  Oh yeah, any one who has my husband for a father.

I am sure his completley sophomoric sense of humor will continue to contribute to these delightful things that come out of my childrens' mouths for years to come.

How it came to be...

Based on feedback from family and friends, I have decided to blog about my lfe as a mommy. Of three preschoolers.  Since there have been days when I have barely had time to pee, this will be an undertaking, but I hope to make you laugh at the antics of my daily life with 3 children all born within 19 months...
How did this happen? I had twins, and then miraculously became pregnant with a third baby in an act I am sure I did not have time for, and probably should have been sleeping instead of, when they were appx 10 months old.

Why did this happen? Because I am truly blessed and God knew I had more strength and patience than I ever dreamed.

But that doesn't mean it's easy at all, and while I'd never change my situation, I'd sure as hell not recommend anyone try to fill a small bus with offspring in under two years. Triple strollers are really heavy and hard to navigate.

I always said I wanted one baby, I never wanted to be outnumbered, and if I did in fact have more than one, they would be spaced out...a lot.

I used to sneer at women who had kids crawling all over them, as well as the table, the top of the TV and jumping on the couch.

Someone would complain about kids playing in the toilet and coloring on the wall and I would think, "idiot, what the hell did you think would happen when you decided to have a litter?"

yep, now I am so that woman. I get nasty looks and comments at the grocery store, church, and even the kiddie gym. (Seriously bitch, it's a kiddie gym, they are supposed to run around like wild monkeys).

My life is full, my hands are full and my heart is full...I LOVE being a mom, but as the title states, it's not always sweet and beautiful...sometimes it stinks, literally, and sometimes the mama bear in me comes out and I will want to kick someone's ass. (usually my awesome husband's). Sometimes this blog will be irreverant and graphic and downright distasteful...Sometimes it will be sweet and awwwww-inspiring. Follow along and let me know what you think...

PS, although I was in fact an English major, please excuse misspellings and bad contractions, etc..I have young kids after all and there is an excellent chance one is climbing on me at any given moment....